• Ravioli is a wonderful “container” for a myriad delightful fillings. You will need a pasta machine for this recipe and remember that fillings cannot be too watery otherwise they will seep out during the cooking process.

    TO DRINK: Ataraxia Chardonnay 2007 has a lucid minerality and fresh citrus notes perfectly balanced by a rich creamy palate.

    Quail ravioli with sherry cream

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hour


    • PASTA
    • 240g (2 cups) cake flour
    • a pinch of salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) water
    • QUAILS
    • 4 quails
    • 25ml (5 tsp) olive oil
    • 60ml (¼ cup) butter
    • 4 sprigs of thyme
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) raisins
    • 250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 60ml (¼ cup) medium cream sherry
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
    • a pinch of ground star anise
    • 20ml (4 tsp) butter, melted
    • 5ml (1 tsp) thyme leaves
    • tomatoes, diced, to garnish
    • fresh sage, leaves picked, to garnish



    Preheat the oven to 180ºC.


    For the pasta, sift the flour and salt into a bowl.


    Combine the eggs, olive oil and water in a separate bowl. Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients while incorporating all of the flour.


    Knead the dough until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.


    Place the quails on a roasting tray. Drizzle with the oil and place butter under the skin of each breast. Insert a sprig of thyme and a garlic clove into the cavity of each quail. Season and roast in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.


    In the meantime, make the sherry cream. Combine the cream, bay leaf and sherry over a medium heat in a small saucepan. Reduce by half or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes.


    Cut the legs off the quails and set aside until needed. Strip the rest of the meat from the quail carcass and place in a small bowl. Add all the ingredients for the filling and season to taste.


    Using a pasta machine, roll the pasta dough out into thin sheets, up to the number 6 setting on the machine. Cut the pasta into equal sized squares of about 5cm x 5cm. Spoon a tablespoon of the filling onto a square and cover with another. Seal the pockets by pinching the sides with your fingers and ensuring that no excess air is trapped inside.


    Just before serving, cook for 3 minutes in salted, boiling water. Serve with two quail legs each, spoon over the sherry cream and garnish with the tomato and the chives.


    You can substitute the quail with about 300g cooked whole chicken. You can buy quails at Oaklands Butchery in Johannesburg, 011-728- 4877, or at Wild Peacock luxury deli in Cape Town, by appointment only, call Sue Baker, 021-865-2380.